1851 Half Cent..Opinion needed

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by sonlarson, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. sonlarson

    sonlarson World Silver Collector

    I have the opportunity to purchase this half cent for my type set. It is graded by the seller as XF/AU. I am thinking it is more VF/XF. The pic is a little poor since taken through the flip. Dust and a little glare. The reverse is more true to color. Opinions on grade and price would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Mike

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  3. andy21us

    andy21us Coin Hoarder

    I would say VF25. Check on www.ha.com for the value
  4. 900fine

    900fine doggone it people like me

    Not a bad little coin ya got there ! Gotta love those half cents.

    XF details, verdigris, recovering from an old cleaning, possibly recolored. Net 25. CQR shows $70 - sometimes those numbers are a little high.

    This is Cohen-1, the only die variety of the year. Even I can attribute those ! :p
  5. 900fine

    900fine doggone it people like me

    Yep. For coins in this range, also check Teletrade.com and e-bay.
  6. mark_h

    mark_h Somewhere over the rainbow

    I would say XF and yeah look at heritage to see what the graded ones are going for, but I think around 90.
  7. sonlarson

    sonlarson World Silver Collector

    Not really interested in a slabbed coin since I plan to put it my Dansco. I think I can get the coin for $80-90, so it looks like a fair price. The better coins I have looked at are much higher. Thanks, I have a few days to think on it.
  8. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Nice coin either way. It's the only half cent I need for my collecting outside the first ones made which are too $$$, lol.
  9. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

    Going from the photos, not a bad coin, but you can do better. This is a common coin that you can afford to be EXCEEDINGLY picky about.

    Tell me, is the color/hue of the two sides similar to that pictured in the photo? In other words, is the obverse darker than the reverse? The pictures said yes, and that is a bit disconcerting (at least to me)

    Another concern is the apparent "gunk" near the lettering/devices on the reverse. Almost appears like corrosion or verdigris.

    I'd grade the coin XF 40. I'd value it about $50.

    All that said, I would love to see a much larger photo of the coin to be sure of the comments above...Mike
  10. gopher29

    gopher29 Coin Hoarder

    A common coin? This coin has a mintage of only 147,672. It's much scarcer than a 1909 S VDB cent. I would hardly consider it common. Undervalued yes, even cheap I would have to say, but common no. I agree with your grade of XF-40 but not the value you assign. Numismedia lists this coin at $92 in XF-40. I would love to be able to buy one as nice as that example for $50!
  11. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

    I think you and I define "common" quite differently. :) Any coin you can find 10 examples of at any major show is common, in my opinion, and a circulated 1851 half cent is definitely one of them.

    Also, my advice about being picky and "common" was not so much towards the date, but towards the type -- the way the OP was collecting them. You can go to any show and find hundreds and hundreds of braided hair large cents -- they are a very "easy" type coin and thus my advice to the OP to be exceedingly picky.

    Lastly, my value took into the account that I suspect the coin has corrosion/verdigris issues, and the grade was a details one. I do reserve the right to change the above when the OP posts larger pictures.

    So I guess we just disagree, and that's cool by me. :)

    Take care...Mike
  12. gopher29

    gopher29 Coin Hoarder

    Nothing wrong with a difference of opinion between Cointalkers; life here would get a little mundane if we had the same opinion all the time. You do realize that the coin in question is a "half cent" and not a "large cent" as you posted above, correct? While I will agree that Braided Hair Large Cents are relatively common at coinshows and dealerships I have not seen all that many Braided Hair Half Cents for sale. These coins were only minted from 1849-1857 as business strikes and all have mintages of under 200,000.
  13. sonlarson

    sonlarson World Silver Collector

    Both sides of the coin are the same. The reverse photo shows the truer color. The reason the obverse color is off is because of the light colored paper in the flip. I was able to bent the flip back against a darker background to take the reverse photo. I have found that if I take a photo of a dark coin with a dark background and a bright coin against a light background, I get truer color. Entire coin is same color. I am not looking for investment grade coins. I am trying to fill out my type set with the best I can afford within my budget. Thanks for all your help, I learn something every time I ask a question. Mike
  14. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    Judging from the pictures I grade the coin VF30-VF35.
    I cannot see that coin grading AU, ever, there is just too much wear on the hair.

    Also, I would have to agree that the 1851 1/2C is not a scarce coin - Heritage alone lists 270+ sales for the date. Even accounting for multiple appearances for the same coins, that is quite a number (even I have one).

    Seeing the date is readily available, my advice is to hold out and buy one from Heritage (or another auctioneer), possibly certified. There were a few XF40-XF45's sold at $80-100 so they are out there for reasonable prices.
  15. gopher29

    gopher29 Coin Hoarder

    Not to get too off topic but I think we need to define the word scarce. Scarcity is not determined by price or demand. It is a direct result of the number of pieces in existance of a particular item relative to other comparable items. All half cents are scarce. The only reason they are reasonably priced and easily obtainable is because of a lack of demand when compared to other series. In other words, not many folks want them. If just half as many people collected half cents as say Lincoln cents then prices for all half cents would be sky high.
  16. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot there is no spoon

    Yes, I did mean to say "half cents" above. Sorry for the typo, but that does not change the conclusion -- braided hair half cents are common coins -- which I maintain.

    Remember, the half cents of the 1850's didn't circulate and the extant population is still huge, despite the low mintages. Go to any large show and you can buy as many as you want. When I was looking to acquire this coin for my typeset, at FUN 2007, I looked at around 200 examples, which says to me the coin is common.

  17. gopher29

    gopher29 Coin Hoarder

    While I realize prices on half cents have always been relatively depressed I guess I just can't get over the fact that you folks consider half cents to be "common". Imo, the half cent is a lot of things but "common" isn't a word I would use to describe them. Am I the only numismatist that feels that way?

  18. johnny54321

    johnny54321 aspiring numismatist

    I like the look of the one posted. It may have been "messed with", but I would buy it if the price is right. $90 seems high though.
  19. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    Gopher, I agree with you - one needs to define exactly what is meant by "scarce".
    I.M.O it is a factor of at least parameters: how many people want an item, and how many of the item exist. In my book to be genuinely scarce, a coin needs to have a total extant population of 200 specimens or less, in other words an R4+ rarity rating to use Sheldon's terminology. But of course opinions will vary! This topic probably deserves at thread all by itself.

    To get back O.T, I remember many years ago reading an article by Dave Bowers where he explained why the prices of 1/2 cents were then (and still are 20+ years later) depressed or relatively low considering the low mintages. I don't remember all of his arguments, but he cited much the same factors the same factors you did: lack of demand due to their large cent sisters stealing the limelight and relatively many available in high condition.
  20. mark_h

    mark_h Somewhere over the rainbow

    Yep - I have to agree with Mike if the coin has issues. My original post assumed(bad on my part) the difference in color was just the pictures lighting. I saw the dirt on the reverse, but did not think it was corrosion or verdigris. And I also agree that 1851 half cents are easy to obtain - so they can be found. So take your time and don't be in a rush. You can always crack one out of holder from Heritage - to me that does not diminish a coins price. Just my opinion.
  21. gopher29

    gopher29 Coin Hoarder

    I hate to be so contradictory in this thread and hope my fellow Cointalkers will take no offense but I must disagree. If you remove the coin from encapsulation, especially if slabbed by one of the more respected grading companies, you will definitely diminish its resale value. While doing so may not adversely affect the coins appeal in your eyes it will in all likelihood make the coin less valuable on the open market. I know, in a perfect world, it shouldn't but it will because, like it or not, people will pay a premium for a certified coin.
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